Ranty Thursday.

Okay, I am officially tired of this COVID-19 quarantine thing.

My book group met safely in a park over the summer. When the weather turned cold last month we met, masked and distanced, in a large meeting room at my library. But now that Wisconsin has turned into such a hot spot we are declaring a hiatus until after the holidays. We will see how things look in January, whether the steeply ascending case count has leveled off and whether our governor rescinds the current safer-at-home/avoid-all unnecessary-outings order. Two of us in the group have health conditions, and two of us have spouses with serious health conditions, so we are being prudent, as much as it hurts.

Now my newly formed knitting group, which includes two retired nurses, has decided on the same thing. No meetings until the new year.

Neither group has explored the possibility of Zoom or Google Meet yet. I am sounding out the members to see if there is any interest. Zoom free account limits meetings to 40 minutes; I don’t think Google Meet has such a limit. Have any of you used the latter? Sing out in the comment about your experience.

How are things in my area? Going from bad to worse. The case numbers more than doubled in the last 12 days, from 796 to 1,629. We had only 2 deaths up until October 23; now we have 8. Nothing like New York City in April or El Paso now, of course, but our rate is 3,760 per 100,000 people. That puts us nearly as bad as Gallup, NM, was last spring.

Smokey and I still hunker down at home almost all the time. He makes a major grocery run every couple weeks and a milk run more often. I have made any number of trips to various banks’ drive-through windows, necessitated by my treasurer duties. But beyond that, pretty much zilch. It’s a good thing we get along so well. It would be hell on wheels if we didn’t.

Enough with the ranting. Here are a couple good news stories.

  • Want to help out voters in Georgia? Vote Forward is an organization that connects volunteers with potential voters via hand-written letters from the former.  A template and guidelines are provided.  More information at the link.
  • People all over the country are painting rocks and sending them to a man in Irving, Texas; he and family place them along a local hiking trail. If I were any kind of an artist I would do that, too, but I’m not so I won’t.
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10 Responses to Ranty Thursday.

  1. Kathleen Walsh says:

    Even our city of Peterborough, Ontario is seeing a spike. We went from 3 to 6 to 8 to 12 to 18 to 22 to 24 to 23 and back to 24 in the past week and a half. Coronovirus got into a long term care home infecting 12 residents, killing 2 of them and infecting 4 staff. Now a student at the University and another at the college have the infection. There is community spread. Today Phil and i got up early to go to the Hardware store at 7 am when it opened to avoid the crowds. Nope, all the crowds also did the same. Phil needed a couple of new snow shovels. Then Costco opens early at 8 for seniors. We needed to return some medium leisure pants for a size small. It was crowded! They had moved the pants so I had to go around looking for them, and I was shocked at the numbers of people! The worst is our northern community of Nunavut where the Inuvialuktun and inuvialuit people do not have more than nursing stations, except for one hospital in their capital. The small community of Arviut now has 50 cases, exploding from 10 just yesterday. They are in lockdown, but it does not bode well for them as the Indigenous peoples are more susceptible to the aggressive form of the covid-19 illness. Also diabetes and tuberculosis are higher there than in the south of Canada. Families live in housing with multiple generations as well. It is very concerning to me and to many Canadians. As for connecting on line, just today zoom removed the 40 minute limit on its connections. Our family has jointly connected for free on facebook messenger live visual calls. Stay safe, be well, and consider spending Thanksgiving just in your own home with your own family members that live with you.

  2. gayle says:

    Our group of family/friends has been doing a happy-hour/game-night meetup twice a week for months now. We use Zoom, linking up people in four different states. It’s been a life-saver in these days when we can’t physically visit back and forth. (We’re using a pro version of Zoom, however, so no help on the free version)
    Get your groups to try it, anyway!
    Stay safe!

  3. Shirley says:

    We have used Houseparty for our family meetups. It’s free and easy to use.

  4. Yup, the SF Bay Area just moved back into the Purple Tier (aka the scary tier) and things that had been opened are closing down again. I’m ready for it to be over, but I’m also not sure when I’ll be able to accept that it’s safe to go out again. I guess we’ll have to just wait and see…

  5. Kat says:

    The numbers are nuts here as well. My knitting group uses “free zoom” and the past couple of weeks have been challenging. My vote is to give Google a try next week… I will let you know how it goes.

  6. k says:

    I talked to my pulmonary doctor in Duluth today. He made a BIG point of telling me about all the time he’s spending on the COVID unit.
    I am closing my studio. I can’t trust the other people in the building to wear masks. Kinda bre – no, does break my heart snd I worry about the people who work there.
    Contactless grocery pickup at Walmart and the co-op, and we’re cutting out the library too. 8 more months. We can do it.

  7. Oh My gosh. You know I’m writing names of those I’m praying for on rocks. My pile is getting big. But today, we went to Lake Winnebago High Cliff park to hike. We did meet about 10 people during our 3.5 mile hike. All but one was wearing a mask.

    The trails seem pretty quiet. Overall. SO we’ve been to Sandhill and Meadow Valley, But i believe they closed to the public for the year on 11/15. Still mark it down because the 14 miles drive through the park takes about 2h ours and it is lovely.

    We’ve been to Horizon Marsh, Lake La Grange, and Beulah Bog. Lapham Peak which is part of Kettle Moraine state forest.
    Looks like in your neck of the woods? I see: Amicon Falls, Superior Shoreline, Lost Creek Falls, Sea Caves, Oak Island and Trout Point. But Amicon Falls looks very doable with their short hike to the falls. Perhaps you have seen them all already
    It just seems we can go to hike without breaking the rules. We do mask. we move aside for anyone passing by.
    It is a good thing we love our husbands!

  8. Diane Nelson says:

    Home schooling Jacob gives me “a focus” – sometimes way more than I’d prefer but insist on hunkering down. We now have finished the last of the necessary updates on our home so we don’t have people coming into our home and will hunker down seriously until January. It will be easier for me when it gets cold and snowy. My one desire is to go sit in a restaurant for a meal and chat for an hour or two. Went to pick up a “to go” meal in a Milltown restaurant a week ago and not a mask in sight. Not going back for a long time. Keep on keeping on!!

  9. Gail C. says:

    Yesterday (Thursday, 11/19) we had over 5,000 new positive cases diagnosed here in Los Angeles County. That number is only for yesterday. The numbers are posted daily and that number does not include cases from the cities of Pasadena and Long Beach because they have their own Health Departments. There have been over 7,300 deaths in the county directly attributed to COVID-19 this year. We still have people who scream about their rights to not wear masks and demanding that all the schools reopen for students instead of online learning. That stupidity makes me wonder if evolution has made a sharp u-turn.

  10. thauvinv says:

    I’ve used Zoom and Google meet (Zoom mostly). Not sure about the Google Meet time limits as I use my knitting guild’s group account so no time limit. Both have learning curves but Zoom was more intuitive to me.

    Washington state is seeing a spike and have restrictions again.

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